DATE: 26 February 2006
CURRENT LOCATION: Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
(Backpacker's Paradise Lodge)
I did it!!
I really did it!!
I got all the way to Victoria Falls!! The smoke that
And they were amazing to see.
I'd come a long way to see the Falls, which have had a
sort of magic in my imagination since i was a kid and
began to become aware of the giganticness of the world
around me. They always seemed such an amazingly
distant place that i might never ever actually get to
see - ahem, though you can just get on any old plane
and fly directly there. Along with Khartoum and the
Cape of Good Hope, this was one of THE most impotant
and special places that i wanted to reach on my trip.
Though Cape Town was my original goal line, i am very
happy to promote Victoria Falls to this honour.
Yes, i did get there on a chumpy overland truck and
not on my motorcycle =( But i did have to sleep in a
leaky tent for 3 weeks, fend jackals from the
campsite, push the 12-ton truck out of the mud, dive
from the sky, make french toast for 18 people, and
take a panga machete to bed one night 'cause the
driver thought i mighta pitched my tent a leetle too
close to the banks of the Zambezi river and the lairs
of crocs and hippos...
Arrived at the Falls on the Nomad truck on Thursday
and had many much needed Zamezi beers on a sunset
cruise above the falls to celebrate. Spent the
following day rafting the rapids below the falls,
breaking my truck-buddy Lisa's nose, and having a tour
of socialised medicine in Zimbawe (which turned out to
be fairly top-notch, and only cost 0.12 Cents US - i
think he NHS and BC Medicare could take some notes!).
Yup. That was the only casualty for the whole overland
trip, on the final day. I wish it was my nose, then
i'd have a really good war wound to come home with and
boast about. Instead i will come home with a guilty
conscience for a flagrant flailing of arms and paddle
as i was inelegantly flung from the raft by the 6th
rapid of the day and somehow struck Lisa on the nose.
I didn't have any idea what had happened until i
dragged myself out half-drowned from under the raft
and back on board to great showers of blood splashing
about the stern. In the end, it wasn't too traumatic a
wound and 2 stitches did the trick. In my defence, it
was a Class 5 rapid for crying out loud??
Sorry Lisa!! I'm sure your boyfriend (who she's
meeting up with to travel in S Africa with for 1 month
- sorry bud!) will love the new look and think you're
a super hard core travel chick!
Just arrived today in Bulawayo this morning after a
long but reasonable ride on the night train from
Victoria Falls. I will spend a few days here checking
the Zim scene before returning in the week to Jo'berg
to sew up shipping the remains of Mario to London.
I'll then fly home and to kiss wet and freezing London
soil -oh, and my lovely Mandy too!- for the first
time in almost 6 months. I think i'm all done and
ready to go home now. I'm certainly worn out and feel
like i've achieved somethings, and i've had some
incredible experiences, but in another sense it seems
like i just left last week - it's somehow gone
lightening fast without me even knowing it.
I'm sorry that i haven't sent any photos, i can't find
internet access that will let me upload documents. In
any case, i'll be home to London in less than a week
and will have copious amounts of unemployed time on my
hands to string some good pictures and narative
together. Oh yeah, anybody wanna give me a job? I
think MasterCard would appreciate it...
Thank you everyone for your emails along the way, they
made me smile when i was often at my most desperate
and reminded me i wasn't in outer space. I'm sorry i
might not always have had a chance to write or call
back, but i didn't always have the chance. I'll be
back to my old self soon in a week. Thank you to all
the folks i met and who helped me along the way, i
would have been sunk without your gracious help! And
good luck and safe travels to all the other
overlanders and travelling folk i met, i'll see you on
the road again one day i hope!
lots of love,